Label-free surface plasmon resonance biosensing with titanium nitride thin film.

Author(s) Qiu, G.; Ng, S.Pang; Wu, C.M.Lawrence
Journal Biosens Bioelectron
Date Published 2018 May 30

In this report, titanium nitride thin film synthesized with reactive magneto-sputtering technique is proposed as an alternative surface plasmon resonance sensing material. The physical and chemical natures were initially studied by atomic force microscopy, X-ray diffraction and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. In virtue of white-light common-path sensing system, the wavelength modulated TiN films achieved tunable evanescent plasmonic field from 573 nm to 627 nm. The optimized TiN film with 29.8 nm thickness exhibited good differential phase sensitivity (i.e. 1.932 × 10 RIU) to refractive index alteration, which is comparable to the performance of gold film. We have also attained direct measurement of biotin adsorption on the TiN and monitored sub-sequential biotin-streptavidin conjugation. It was found that TiN films have significantly higher binding affinity toward biotin than that of gold in experiments, so we are able to detect biotin directly to 0.22 µg/ml (0.90 µM) in label-free manner. The adsorption mechanism of biotin on TiN(200) are also explored with periodic density functional theory (DFT) via computer simulation and it was found that the exceptional biotin-TiN affinity may be due to the stacking formation of both N-Ti and O-Ti bonds. Also, the adsorption energy of biotin-TiN was found to be - 1.85 eV, which was two times higher than that of biotin-gold. Both experimental and computational results indicate, for the first time, that the TiN film can be directly functionalized with biotin molecules, thus it serves as an alternative plasmonic material to existing gold-based SPR biosensors.

DOI 10.1016/j.bios.2018.02.006
ISSN 1873-4235
Citation Biosens Bioelectron. 2018;106:129135.

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